Joe von Fischer Professor

Office: Biology 330

Phone: (970) 491-2679

Curriculum Vitae:

Google Scholar:


  • Ph.D., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Dept. of Geosciences, Princeton University


Joe von Fischer is a professor in the Department of Biology who studies the human and natural forces that give the atmosphere its greenhouse gas composition.  One lobe of research examines soil microbial processes that metabolize carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane, seeking new insights into the greenhouse gas emissions by ecosystems from tropical forests in Panama to the Arctic tundra in Alaska.  A second lobe of research emerged as Joe's group partnered with Environmental Defense Fund and Google to deploy a new generation of highly sensitive methane analyzers on Google Street View cars around the US.  This novel approach has been used by natural gas utilities to better map the size and location of natural gas leaks in 15 US cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Joe's group continues to research innovations in this technology and the way that utilities adopt technologies.  


An open source algorithm to detect natural gas leaks from mobile methane survey dataZach Dennis Weller, Duck Keun Yang, Joe Charles von Fischer PLOS ONE, 2, 2019.
Estimation of methane emissions from the US ammonia fertilizer industry using a mobile sensing approachXiaochi Zhou, Fletcher H. Passow, Joseph Rudek, Joe Charles von Fischer, Steven P. Hamburg, John D. Albertson ELEMENTA-SCIENCE OF THE ANTHROPOCENE, 2019.
Nitrogen Dynamics in an Established Alfalfa Field under Low Biochar Application RatesKatherine S. Rocci, Steven John Fonte, Joseph C. von Fischer, M Francesca Cotrufo Soil Systems, 4, 2019.
Rapid nitrogen fixation by canopy microbiome in tropical forest determined by both phosphorus and molybdenumDaniel E. Stanton, Sarah A. Batterman, Joe Charles von Fischer, Lars O. Hedin ECOLOGY, 9, 2019.
A meta-analysis of temperature sensitivity as a microbial traitCharlotte Jean Alster, Zach Dennis Weller, von Fischer, Joseph C. GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, 9, 2018.
Impacts of Moisture, Soil Respiration, and Agricultural Practices on Methanogenesis in Upland Soils as Measured with Stable Isotope Pool DilutionPaul Brewer, Francisco Calderon, Merle F. Vigil, Joe Charles von Fischer Soil Biology & Biochemistry , 2018.
Vehicle-Based Methane Surveys for Finding Natural Gas Leaks and Estimating Their Size: Validation and UncertaintyZach Dennis Weller, Joseph R. Roscioli, W. Conner Daube, Brian K. Lamb, Thomas W. Ferrara, Paul Brewer, von Fischer, Joseph C. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 20, 2018.
A calibration capture--recapture model for inferring natural gas leak population characteristics using data from Google Street View carsZach Dennis Weller, Jennifer A. Hoeting, Joe Charles von Fischer Environmetrics, 7, 2018.
Mountain Peatlands Range from CO2 Sinks at High Elevations to Sources at Low Elevations: Implications for a Changing ClimateDavid J. Millar, David Jonathan Cooper, Kathleen A. Dwire, Robert M. Hubbard, Joe Charles von Fischer ECOSYSTEMS, 2, 2017.
Rapid, Vehicle-Based Identification of Location and Magnitude of Urban Natural Gas Pipeline LeaksJoe Charles von Fischer, Daniel Stuart Cooley, Sam Chamberlain, Adam Joseph Gaylord, Claire J. Griebenow, Steven P. Hamburg, Jessica Salo, Russ Stanley Schumacher, David Theobald, Jay M. Ham ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 7, 2017.
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